178 · Representative Documents: Last Copy Agreements
Tri-University Group of Libraries Preservation of Last Copy Agreement
Last Copy Agreement |Information Resources Management |Library |University of Waterloo
http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/staff/irmc/last_copy_agreement_sept06.html[10/1/13 5:11:00 PM]
Information Resources Management Committee
Tri-University Group of Libraries
Preservation of Last Copy Agreement
May 2006
Appendix A added in June 2006
Appendix B added in November 2007
In 1996, the Tri-University Group of Libraries (TUG) purchased a building to house low-
use items from the collections of each of the Group’s members: the University of
Guelph, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to opening the
building, known as the Annex, Guelph and Waterloo each had their own buildings for
low-use material. Collections in these buildings were transferred to the Annex when it
opened. Since then, all three libraries have regularly transferred low-use material to
the Annex.
The understanding has been that each library may send material to the Annex without
concern for what is already there and owned by one of the other libraries. While the
building is jointly owned and operated, the items housed in it continue to be owned by
the originating library. In addition, through past practice, each library has sometimes
sent multiple copies of the same item from its own collection, or has sent a copy to the
Annex while retaining one or more copies in its campus collection. Because of these
practices, there is appreciable duplication of material in the Annex.
Items selected for transfer to the Annex are low-use, and once in the Annex they
typically continue to be low-use. Indeed, at least 80% of items in the Annex have
never been requested. (Anyone registered with any of the TUG libraries may ask to
have items sent to his/her library of choice to consult or borrow. In addition, people
may go directly to the Annex to consult or borrow material. And items in the Annex are
available for interlibrary loan, document delivery, and reserves in the same way as
other material owned by the three libraries.)
When the Annex opened, we estimated that it would reach capacity in about 12-15
years. This estimate was based on the estimated number of items to be transferred
from each library annually. The estimated number was based an a variety of factors
such as the number of items that Guelph and Waterloo had transferred to their low-use
buildings in previous years, the number of newly acquired items added to campus
library collections each year, and the amount of shelving space available in those
campus libraries. The Annex has, however, been filling up more quickly than originally
estimated because of the need to find space in our campus libraries not only for
growing print collections but also for new and changing services. Transferring low-use
material to the Annex has helped create the space needed to keep our libraries
dynamic and relevant.
In 2004, we reviewed our estimates and concluded that the Annex would likely reach
capacity within 3 to 4 years. With this revised estimate, we began to consider options
for additional space when the Annex reaches capacity. While these investigations
continue and decisions have yet to be made, one thing has become very clear: no
matter what we chose to do to gain space for housing low-use collections, it will be
very costly --in the millions of dollars.
Given the growing and competing demands for funding available for higher education,
we must act as responsibly as possible to avoid unnecessary costs. To this end we will
reduce the amount of space needed for low-use collections by changing practices
associated with housing material in the Annex.
Because there is relatively little demand for items in the Annex, we believe that one
copy of any given item can readily meet current and future needs. To balance the
needs of current and future users with the financial resources available for space, we
will begin to use the Annex, and any future space available for low-use material, as a
“last copy” repository. As a general rule, the Annex will only house items not available
elsewhere in the TUG libraries and only if they are deemed necessary to support
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